I ran across an article on LinkedIn recently titled “The Rise of the ‘Fake’ Commute”. The gist of the article is that having a commute to/from work defines our workday. With the increase of people working from home, the lack of a commute could be impacting some peoples’ ability to stay balanced. Because there’s no clear delineation between work and home life.
I’m curious to know what you think about this. One of the things that I regularly hear from people who work from home is that they love not spending time commuting. No traffic to deal with is glorious! However, the other side is if you work from home and can’t find a way to “shut off” work, then you end up miserable. Too much work. Not enough fun.
The pandemic isn’t making this any easier. In my experience, if you work from home, you might go out to separate yourself from your work. Going to a gym, visiting a coffee shop or restaurant, or running errands can keep you in touch with the outside world. But COVID-19 is keeping us at home where we’re staring at our work all the time.
So, what can we do? Back when the pandemic first came into the news, I remember seeing someone say that they would take a walk around their neighborhood at the beginning and end of their workday. I guess we could think of it as that “fake” commute. I could see it being a great way to get into the right frame of mind (either gearing up for or winding down from the workday) and even exercising at the same time. Can’t image a typical commute would accomplish the same thing.
Other things that could be identified as a “fake” commute include reading, listening to music or a podcast, watching a TV show, etc. It’s really about coming up with some activity that draws that line of separation between work and home. So, I hope you’ll take a moment to answer this completely unscientific one question survey about “fake” commutes.
As always, we’ll leave the survey up for a couple of weeks and then I’ll share the results. Thanks in advance for taking a moment to respond.
I do think this idea of a “fake” commute is interesting. As someone who has worked at home for years, it does make me wonder if adding a “fake” commute would be a nice change of pace? Would it bring some new life to my routine and productivity?
As I think about the winter months and the pandemic, I do believe remote workers will need to find ways to be productive. They will also need to find ways to separate themselves from work and having fun.16
Maybe not a full commute, but some activity that delineates the workday? Like, our bedroom and our office are on the same floor of the house. We need to go down to the kitchen first, then settle in to our offices. And at the end of the workday, close the office door. Don’t do leisure activities in the office.
It also would not kill us to, say, walk around the block before starting work, or at lunchtime!
Sharlyn Lauby says
Thanks for the comment! I have a morning routine that I like a lot. What’s hard for me is “the end of the day” routine.